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London bucks the trend as cost of average home falls to £198,500

House prices fell by 0.6 per cent last month, Britain's biggest mortgage lender, the Halifax, has said.

The average house in the UK now costs £198,500. The annual house price inflation rate has also fallen slightly, the Halifax reported. In the year to September, prices have risen by 10.4 per cent, against 11.4 per cent in the 12 months to August.

"A mixed pattern of monthly price rises and falls is a typical feature of a more subdued housing market," Martin Ellis, Halifax's chief economist, said.

Five interest rate rises since August last year are widely seen as having taken the steam out of the housing market. However, there are still some parts of the country where prices continue to go up. In London, for example, during the past three months they have risen by 2.3 per cent.